Stage 35: Moyale to Turbi (bush camp)
We knew it’d be a hot day, so an early start warranted. The first 10 kilometres out of Moyale involved a rapid descent down through the Hurri Hills and then out onto a rolling plain of scrub bush and acacia. This was essentially all the elevation lost on the day. Gentle hills for the remainder of the ride, save for a bit of a climb (*whereon tactical error committed by myself) just before the village of Turbi and the final approach to our bush campsite for the night.
The morning particularly was very pretty. Prolific bird life, with wonderful shadows cast by the rapidly rising sun, at least for the first hour or so. A surprising number of camels, many seemingly hobbled or under the watchful eye of a minder. A great road surface, and hardly any traffic.
Of course it was too good; flatted about 1:20 into the ride, and of course it was the rear tire. However, only a short bit of time to get wheel off, tire removed and tube inspected. Alice spotted the thorn just peeking out of tube. I was in a rush this morning to get going, so did not methodically wipe down tires after rolling out of the bush camp and up the dirt track into tarmac. One would think I’d know better by now. At least I remembered to highlight the puncture with my silver marking pen, so I could find it easier this evening (which I subsequently forgot to repair). Pete and Naomi pitched up at about this time; we put in a new tube... Pete broke out his mini floor pump and inflated tire back up in no time. Not a record tire change, time wise, but not bad.
I think I’m going to go back to tubeless, next rest day (Marsabit).
Back on the road together, Pete setting the pace, kilometres ticked by most satisfactorily, and we were at lunch before 10:00. Quick stop and off again; definitely getting past warm to simply hot. A troop of baboons spotted! I think these were ‘olive baboons’ although not particularly olive in colour to my eyes at least.
More birds; huge gathering of egrets by a waterhole / marsh near the road. Bee-eaters, rollers, hawks (kites?), ‘superb starlings’ and more.
As the afternoon wore on, we hit all 3 coke stops, including the final one at Turbi by about 1:00, only ~3 km shy of the campsite. Nothing cold in their fridge but at least the ‘breezeway’ in front of this bar was cooler than the roadway. A consensus amongst the group, as more riders trickled in, that this place was going to be a lot cooler than our bush camp on flat plains with not a shade tree in sight. I nodded off in chair after my warm mango juice, but eventually we roused and headed up the road to camp.
Should have stayed in the bar. Really Hot out here. Rehydrated for an hour or more; soup and tea and water. Finally started to cool slightly around 5:00. Officially only 31-32° but had to be significantly hotter on the tarmac. Tomorrow will be hotter, according to forecast.
*Tactical error, Turbi Hill:
We were just approaching bottom of this long and final hill; Pete & Naomi swing off for nature break. There are maybe 5 riders up ahead, so I get Alice to come up and ‘instruct’ her to go get them; I’ll follow. Ha! I managed to stick on Alice’s wheel for the first couple we caught, but the youngster simply turned it on and flew away. While she caught all of them ... I was done like toast, as Joe M. would say. Oh well, a bit of fun at day’s end.
Photo courtesy Naomi Smith